A Sacrifice of Praise

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If you're reading through the Bible in chronological order with us through the PrayFit app, today we covered the story in Genesis of Abraham and Isaac. And as the old gospel song goes,

"The call to go to mount Moriah came to Abraham
But the offering placed before the Lord was not a lamb
He bound His only son and when the knife was raised
A sacrifice became the price of praise." 

What a story.

When Loretta and I traveled to churches during the early years of PrayFit - before I was sidelined physically - I would often use this story and song as part of a message to congregations; the crux of our message for believers was, of course, to embrace a paradigm shift in the importance of physical health -- to see a healthy heart and lower bodyfat as a means of praise. After all, something so fearfully and wonderfully made deserves attention and upkeep. I've said it before, but God doesn't need our health to get his message around the world. We do.

Well, Loretta and I and the rest of Team PrayFit are about to embark upon a new journey and new endeavors for the sake of our little call and ministry. Some things are so big that unless God is in them, they will surely fail. That's why today's reading and this old Larnelle Harris song are as real and applicable today for us as they were ten years ago. Take these words in for a second...

"When praise demands a sacrifice, I'll worship even then, surrendering the dearest things in life. And if devotion costs me all, He'll find me faithful to the call, when praise demands a sacrifice."

So if I may, I'll ask you the same question I asked congregations years ago. If we embrace the belief that our health is a means of praise -- and if praise demands a sacrifice -- what will it cost you?

- Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What does physical stewardship look like to you when you hear that question? Could mean some simple things: less time watching TV, pushing away from the table sooner, less cell phone, avoiding donuts on Sunday, or saying no to sodas. Or, your stewardship call may mean offering yourself in service to the local church, helping out a ministry, lending a hand to a local cause using the health you've worked hard to protect. What are the dearest things in life to you? And will they become a sacrifice of praise?